Expanding the Risk Management Universe


Risk Doctor Briefing


Dr David Hillson, PMI Fellow, HonFAPM, FIRM

The Risk Doctor Partnership

United Kingdom


Like the physical universe, the risk management universe is expanding. This is true in two distinct ways, with enhanced depth of analysis and increased breadth of application. We might describe these as the micro perspective (looking very closely at the nature of the risks we face), and the macro perspective (looking at the bigger picture to see if we are missing anything). In addition to these, we need to think about how to manage the risks that we currently cannot see.

  • First is the micro perspective, where new advances in risk analysis are providing improved insights into the nature of risk, and developing new approaches for the effective management of risk and its impacts. Risk practitioners are committed to their profession, and it is not static. The high rate of publication of research papers and case studies and the release of new techniques and support tools provide evidence of a dynamic and developing discipline. Risk management has not settled but is continuing to develop and break new ground.
  • Progress is also being made on the macro level, with discovery of new dimensions to the risk management universe. The use of a structured approach to understanding and managing significant uncertainty is proving valuable in hitherto unexpected areas. Several fields are adopting “risk-based” approaches, including auditing, remuneration, social policy, communication, etc. It may only be a matter of time before these novel applications become full disciplines in their own right, adding new dimensions to the risk management universe.

Finally we should consider the risks that are currently invisible to us. Astronomers have realised that there is more to the physical universe than meets the eye or than can be detected using current instrumentation technology. Many have suggested the existence of “dark matter” to make their equations add up…


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About the Author

Dr. David Hillson

The Risk Doctor
United Kingdom



Dr David Hillson CMgr FRSA FIRM FCMI HonFAPM PMI-Fellow is The Risk Doctor (www.risk-doctor.com).  As an international risk consultant, David is recognised as a leading thinker and expert practitioner in risk management. He consults, writes and speaks widely on the topic and he has made several innovative contributions to the field. David’s motto is “Understand profoundly so you can explain simply”, ensuring that his work represents both sound thinking and practical application.

David Hillson has over 25 years’ experience in risk consulting and he has worked in more than 40 countries, providing support to clients in every major industry sector, including construction, mining, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, financial services, transport, fast-moving consumer goods, energy, IT, defence and government. David’s input includes strategic direction to organisations facing major risk challenges, as well as tactical advice on achieving value and competitive advantage from effectively managing risk.

David’s contributions to the risk discipline over many years have been recognised by a range of awards, including “Risk Personality of the Year” in 2010-11. He received both the PMI Fellow award and the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) for his work in developing risk management. He is also an Honorary Fellow

of the UK Association for Project Management (APM), where he has actively led risk developments for nearly 20 years.  David Hillson is an active Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to contribute to its Risk Commission. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and a Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD).

Dr Hillson can be contacted at [email protected]

To see other works previously published in the PM World Journal by Dr David Hillson, visit his author showcase at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-david-hillson/